Notes: Beckett to skip scheduled Monday start


Notes: Beckett to skip scheduled Monday start

By MaureenMullen

BOSTON -- After throwing 125 pitches one shy of his career high over eight innings in a win against the Angels April 21, Josh Beckett was limited to six innings and 92 pitches April 27 in a loss to the Orioles. It appears that outing in Anaheim may have taken its toll on Beckett, whose next scheduled start wont be until Wednesday at the earliest.

His regularly scheduled start would have been Monday. Getting pushed to Wednesday will give him six days of rest instead of the usual four days.

Beckett will throw a side Monday, pitching coach Curt Young said. Make sure his bodys feeling good. Get through the side Monday and go from there. Physically, hes been doing everything thats necessary.

With Clay Buchholz under the weather Saturday and with Daisuke Matsuzaka abbreviating his outing Friday because of tightness in his right elbow, manager Terry Francona has been forced to juggle his rotation. Buchholz, who was scheduled to pitch Sunday has been pushed to Monday. He will be followed by Jon Lester. Beyond that is unknown.

We may take this opportunity to tweak our rotation a little bit, Francona said before Sundays game. Thats just kind of where were at. Put everybody in the best position possible. Well get to it.

Wednesday would have been Matsuzakas day to pitch . But with Jason Varitek now catching both Beckett and Matsuzaka, Francona may opt to separate the two pitchers so the 39-year-old Varitek is not catching on back-to-back days. That is, if both right-handers are good to go.

We may rearrange a little, Francona said. Well see. Thats why were kind of holding off a little.

The Angels have also rearranged their rotation. After getting swept by the Sox in a four-game series in Anaheim a little over a week ago, Angels manager Mike Scioscia will start Jered Weaver Monday night at Fenway. Weaver, the American League leader in wins at 6-0, was scratched from his scheduled start Sunday because of illness. The Sox managed to avoid Weaver, who also leads the AL in ERA at 0.99, in their previous series. Weaver is 2-4 with a 4.40 ERA in his career against the Sox. Weaver, who has pitched complete games in each of his last two starts, has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his six starts this season.

Ten of the Angels' 15 wins this season have come on the road.

Crawfords game-winning hit Sunday was the seventh walk-off hit of his career, and the Sox' first walk-off of the season.

Despite the win, the Sox were 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position, and are now 54-for-255 (.211) in such situations this season.

Only one guy can hit at a time. We have team stats. They are cumulative but its probably different every single at bat, every single time, Francona said before Sundays game. I know they all get shoved in there statistically but its pretty unique every at-bat. And there are times like last night, Adrian Gonzalez lined into a double play with the bases loaded and no outs. If that ball were a foot the other way, were saying great. Dustin Pedroia knifes the ball down the right field line and its this far foul. Sometimes you got to keep some things in perspective,. Thats why I talk about having a consistent approach because those things will even out. Therell be balls that hit fair, therell be balls that find holes.

Third baseman Kevin Youkilis was not in the starting lineupbecause of a jammed left hip, suffered during a slide in the first inningin Baltimore on Thursday.

Hes a little sore, Francona said. I think we thought that unless he wasreally feeling good, we were going to hold him out today . . . After talking to the trainers last night I think they allthought if we could give him a day today, it won't linger.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Napoli: Red Sox and his agent only had 'small talk' about reunion

Napoli: Red Sox and his agent only had 'small talk' about reunion

BOSTON -- Of course, the Rangers' Mike Napoli didn't mind the idea of replacing David Ortiz. He loved playing in Boston.

There just was never much chatter that way last offseason, when Napoli was a free agent after his Indians took the Cubs to seven games in the World Series.

"I think my agent had maybe a small talk or something [with the Red Sox], but I don't think it ever would have happened," Napoli said Tuesday afternoon as he returned to Fenway Park with Texas. "I mean, don't get me wrong, I would have loved to come back. But, I mean, it all worked out. I'm glad to be where I'm at now. Because I knew everybody here [with the Rangers]. I didn't have to start over again."

Napoli played with the Rangers in 2011 and '12, and was traded by the Sox to Texas for the last few months of the 2015 season.

He was hopeful the Sox -- his team from 2013 to midseason 2015 -- would be among the clubs to come calling last winter.

"Oh, yeah," he said.

But he wasn't optimistic it was going to happen. And it didn't.

"To be honest with you . . . Cleveland was my first priority," he said. "I just had a World Series run [with the Indians] and we didn't win it. And then Texas was there [in the bidding, along with] Minnesota."

The Rangers wound up giving Napoli, 35, a one-year deal for 8.5 million with an $11 million club option for next season or a $2.5 million buyout. He's hitting just .188 entering Tuesday, a subpar figure, but has 10 home runs.

"We started off pretty slow, but winning 10 straight will help," Napoli said of the Rangers' recent tear. "[Winning] 11 of 12, we've been playing better. I think we kind of lost track of who we are. We got some guys struggling, still trying to find themselves and kind of got away from doing it together as a team, but we got back to doing that. It's been going pretty well."

Part of the World Series championship team of four years ago, Napoli loved being in Boston in 2013, and he enjoys being back now.

"What we were able to do in 2013, obviously, it's something I'l never forget and something I cherish," Napoli said. "I love coming back here to play."

When it was noted there's been so much turmoil since Napoli left -- the talk of Tuesday was manager John Farrell's job security -- he was unsurprised.

"You got to have thick skin to play here," Napoli said. "You're expected to win a championship every single year. But that's what I loved about playing here, is that people were on you. For me, I loved it. A lot of people probably couldn't do it.

"I knew it in my heart that I went out there and I played as hard as I possibly could every single time . . . I know you're not going to be perfect and live up to everyone."

Red Sox recall Sam Travis, send Velázquez back to Pawtucket

Red Sox recall Sam Travis, send Velázquez back to Pawtucket

BOSTON -- On the list of Red Sox problems, finding a platoon partner for Mitch Moreland at first base isn't high on the list. But the others -- third base, fifth starter -- aren't solvable at the moment, so the Sox turned to one they think they can solve.

Today they recalled Sam Travis from Pawtucket, most likely to provide relief for Moreland against left-handed pitching. Travis' path to the majors was delayed by a knee injury that cost him a good chunk of the 2016 season -- otherwise, odds are good he'd have been here by now -- but he signaled his readiness by recovering from a 5-for-36 start with a sizzling .344 average in 90 at-bats since April 22 that includes six doubles and three home runs. His OPS in that span is .909.

Most importantly, Travis crushes left-handed pitching. He's hit .358 (93-for-260) against them in his professional career, and is .414 (12-for-29) against them this year. 

Hector Velázquez was sent back to the PawSox to make room for Travis, ensuring another roster move later this week. After Kyle Kendrick's failed attempt to take control of the fifth spot in the starting rotation, Velázquez was called up and given a shot in Oakland last Thursday night. He allowed six earned runs over five innings, failing the test. And thus the search for a fifth starter -- at least until David Price returns -- continues.

Price will make a rehab start in Pawtucket tomorrow and could return to Boston after that, but the Sox will need a pitcher for Saturday's game against Seattle. Even if Price is cleared to return to Boston, he won't be able to pitch Saturday on two days' rest.